TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona coach Sean Miller rose from his seat virtually every time Roberto Nelson touched the ball and yelled “Shooter!”
He could have been talking about his own team, too.
Playing with confidence at both ends, No. 2 Arizona found its shooting touch and hounded Oregon State’s Nelson, the Pac-12’s leading scorer, into a rough day to race past the Beavers 76-54 on Sunday.
“Overall, it was a very good team performance,” Miller said.
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“We did it at both ends.”
Arizona looked hesitant against Oregon on Thursday night, its first game since forward Brandon Ashley went out for the season with a right-foot injury.
The Wildcats (23-1, 10-1 Pac-12) had no such trouble against Oregon State (13-10, 5-6), finding answers for their shooting woes while dominating in nearly every aspect.
Arizona shot 50 percent for the first time in six games and had a 40-12 advantage in points in the paint. The Wildcats outrebounded the Beavers 39-24, including a 15-4 advantage on the offensive glass that led to 13 points.
Aaron Gordon led Arizona with 17 points and fellow freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson provided his usual hustling spark while scoring 16.
T.J. McConnell added 11 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Wildcats.
“We were clicking on offense and I felt like we were playing well on defense,” McConnell said.
They certainly were, particularly against Nelson.
The nation’s 10th-leading scorer, Nelson was held to 10 points — 12 below his average — on 3-of-12 shooting.
“It’s disappointing that we didn’t play better, especially since we have been playing better,” Oregon State coach Craig Robinson said. “I don’t think we came out with our best effort and I want to take the blame for that.”
Oregon assistant says fan spit on him
TEMPE, Ariz. – Oregon coach Dana Altman said he is concerned about safety at Arizona State’s Wells Fargo Arena after two of his staffers claim an ASU student spit at them at halftime of Saturday’s night’s game.
Oregon assistant coach Brian Fish told The Oregonian the student spit at him and trainer Clay Jamieson and reported the incident to arena security, but did not want charges pressed.
Fish said he hoped the fan was scared by the possibility of what could happen to him and added, “We all deserve second chances. He’s a college kid. But that was completely uncalled for.”
The incident was addressed and the student had his season tickets revoked, according to an Arizona State official.
Altman said after the Ducks’ 74-72 loss it was not a good situation having visiting teams go past the student section on their way off the court at Wells Fargo Arena.
Ducks guard Jason Calliste had a verbal confrontation with at least one student.